With the use of water power, the output of cloth increased. This increase in trade saw the opening up of the valleys and the construction of Turn Pike Roads, with their toll bars, made journey times shorter.
The toll board at Steanor Bottom is evidence of the type and variety of vehicle using the roads circa. 1769.
The opening of the Rochdale-Sowerby Bridge Canal (1798-1802) for the conveyance of goods, virtually eliminated the use of the pack horse roads, except for local use. Even the Turn Pike Trust experienced a drop in revenue. Goods could be transported in greater quantities, and more quickly by canal barge than by road.
Hardly had the canal revealed its advantages over road transport than the railway appeared. In this area, one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th Century can be seen in the Summit Tunnel. In it's day, 1841, it was the longest tunnel in Europe.
The Tait prints provide an excellent record of the building of the line from Manchester to Normanton.
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